Ray Lewis, Carson Palmer Headline 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2020

Miami Hurricanes middle linebacker Ray Lewis is pictured with the ball during practice at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., Sept. 21, 1993. When the third-ranked Hurricanes play at Colorado State Saturday, Lewis will become the first freshman to start for Miami since safety Daryl Williams in 1989. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
LYNNE SLADKY/Associated Press

The College Football Hall of Fame announced its candidates for the 2021 ballot Tuesday, featuring 78 players and seven coaches from FBS schools. There are also 99 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks.

The requirement for entry as a player is being a first-team All-American in at least one season. The list features some of the top football players of the last few decades both at the college and NFL levels, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Ray Lewis, Tony Gonzalez, Champ Bailey and more.

Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Rashaan Salaam are also included on the list.


Notable Players on Ballot

  • Morten Andersen, K, Michigan State
  • Champ Bailey, CB, Georgia
  • Ken Dorsey, QB, Miami
  • Jason Elam, K, Hawaii
  • Dwight Freeney, DE, Syracuse
  • Tony Gonzalez, TE, California
  • Marvin Harrison, WR, Syracuse
  • Steve Hutchinson, OG, Michigan
  • Ray Lewis, LB, Miami
  • Ed McCaffrey, WR, Stanford
  • Ken Norton Jr., LB, UCLA
  • Carson Palmer, QB, USC
  • Julius Peppers, DE, North Carolina
  • Antwaan Randle El, QB, Indiana
  • Rashaan Salaam, RB, Colorado
  • Darren Sproles, RB, Kansas State
  • Troy Vincent, CB, Wisconsin

Full list available at the official site.


"Being in today's elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game," National Football Foundation President and CEO Steve Hatchell said.

Players are eligible from 10 years after they finish college football until 50 years out, placing several generations of stars on the same list.

Some players who are better known for their college careers, including Salaam, who won the 1994 Heisman after totaling 2,055 rushing yards for Colorado. Ken Dorsey was the starting quarterback for the 2001 Miami squad that ranks as one of the top teams in recent history, while Antwaan Randle El was a human highlight reel.

Several names are known more for their NFL careers, like Lewis, Julius Peppers, Champ Bailey and more.

A few NFL coaches were also recognized for their work as players, including Ron Rivera, Eric Bieniemy and Jack Del Rio.

Of the seven FBS coaches on the ballot, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops is the most notable with a career that included 10 Big 12 titles and one national championship.